Nutrition Advice: What the Experts Say About Your Diet

Posted by Luisa de Luca on

 

Nutritionist

 

Health and nutrition is an ever-evolving science. People are always researching, studying, and looking for more complete information about how our bodies work and what keeps us healthy. This means that occasionally, new information will change the rules and cause us to reevaluate the nutrition advice we give. Last year, a panel of experts put their heads together and came up with some words of nutrition advice regarding our diet based on new research. Here’s what they had to say:

It’s OK to eat foods high in cholesterol… In moderation.

Early on, recommendations around cholesterol were made based on the assumption that high cholesterol foods (like eggs and shrimp) would cause high cholesterol. This myth has since been debunked, and the experts officially dropped the restrictions.The recommendation is to not eat excessive amounts and to avoid foods that are high in cholesterol and saturated fat. You should still watch your salt intake, but take that nutrition advice with a grain of salt.The daily recommendation for sodium intake is 2300mg. The average American gets 3,436mg per day. Most of this excess is due to eating processed foods: 77% of that 3,436mg comes from processed and refined sources. Cutting out fast food and processed foods will eliminate a lot of the excess sodium in your diet. Additionally, recent studies have called into question the claims about salt’s negative impact on our health. What’s definitely true is that a salt deficiency definitely is dangerous. So what’s the point? Stay within a healthy range of not over-doing the salt, but not under-doing it either. The recommendation is to get a minimum of 1500mg of sodium per day and a maximum of 2300mg.

 

Unsaturated Fats

Fat is not something to be avoided, as long as it’s healthy fat.

The ‘80’s gave birth to many health trends that have since been proven false, and one of these is the idea that foods high in fat will make you fat. There’s still room for debate about whether saturated fats are healthy or not, but there is more and more evidence indicating they might not be as bad as we’ve been led to think. The main point is to get your fats from high-quality, natural sources like fish, nuts, olive oil, and natural animal sources. What you want to avoid is anything highly processed. The recommendation is to focus on eating high quality, unsaturated fats instead of saturated fats. Your focus should be on eating habits, not just individual nutrients. Yes, you probably need to eat more Omega-3’s. Yes, you need to limit your salt intake. Yes, you need to eat more protein. But what’s more important than any one of these pieces of nutrition advice is taking a holistic approach. In other words, find a pattern of eating that will help you eat better across the board instead of picking a few small areas to focus on. Examples of healthy eating patterns include the Mediterranean diet or Paleo. The recommendation is to choose healthy eating patterns rather than focusing on a small area of your diet.

 

Food High In Sugar

Most importantly, you need to reduce the amount of sugar you eat.

This is the point everyone agrees with across the board: Americans eat way too much sugar. The average is somewhere between 22 and 30 teaspoons a day – the equivalent of between 352 and 480 calories, or nearly 25% of your daily calories! Most of this added sugar comes from sweet drinks like soda and juices. Simply by eliminating drinks and processed foods, you’ll fairly easily cut down on your sugar. The recommendation is to get no more than 10% of your daily calories from sugar, which comes out to about 12 teaspoons a day or 200 calories. All in all, the most notable changes were the far stricter recommendations about sugar and the less strict regulations about cholesterol and salt. Complete elimination isn’t necessary, but excess isn’t the answer, either. As is true of many things in life, the key to successfully following this nutrition advice is moderation.

 

Sources:

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/02/19/nutrition-panel-calls-for-less-sugar-and-eases-cholesterol-and-fat-restrictions/?_r=1 http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/07/health/2015-dietary-guidelines/ http://paleoleap.com/salt-cravings-mean-theyre-important/


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